Isoform switch of CD44 induces different chemotactic and tumorigenic ability in gallbladder cancer.
ABSTRACT: Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is one of the most unfavorable prognostic tumor, and immediate growth and distant metastasis are important factors associated with the poor prognosis of patients with this disease. Standard and variant isoforms of CD44 are associated with tumor growth, metastasis, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), although their roles in GBC are unclear. We investigated the relationship between the CD44 isoforms with EMT, chemotaxis, and tumorigenicity. We analyzed CD44 expression in the GBC cell line NOZ and found that it comprises a major population that expressed CD44std+/CD44v9- (CD44s) and the minor population that expressed CD44std-/CD44v9+ (CD44v). CD44s cells exhibited increased chemotaxis and invasiveness compared with CD44v cells in in vitro cell migration and invasion assays. CD44s cells expressed higher and lower levels of mRNAs that encode vimentin and E-cadherin, respectively, compared with those of CD44v cells. CD44s cells expressed high levels of the transcription factors ZEB1 and ZEB2 that mediate EMT, and low levels of a splicing factor ESRP1 that controls the CD44 isoform switch. We performed in vivo mouse xenotransplantation analyses of CD44s and CD44v cells and found that CD44v cells exhibited relatively increased tumorigenicity. Immunohistochemical analysis of tissue microarrays revealed that high levels of CD44v9 and CD44std were associated with poorer prognosis. The expression of CD44std was also associated with poorly differentiated tumors and distant metastasis. In conclusion, CD44s was associated with a mesenchymal phenotype, increased chemotaxis and invasiveness, and decreased tumorigenicity. In contrast, CD44v cells exhibited an epithelial phenotype, decreased chemotaxis, decreased invasiveness, and increased tumorigenicity. These findings suggest that CD44v and CD44s cells play differently important roles in the progression and metastasis of GBC and the isoform switch triggers EMT.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: CD44 variants have been associated with tumor invasion and metastasis, but CD44 expression patterns have not been systematically investigated in pancreatic carcinoma. This study systematically investigated whether CD44 expression patterns are involved in pancreatic carcinoma metastasis and prognosis. METHODS: We applied primers specific for all CD44 variants and CD44s to analyze the expression patterns of CD44 (CD44v2-CD44v10 and CD44s) using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). We then further evaluated their roles in pancreatic carcinoma metastasis and prognosis using clinical survival analysis. RESULTS: Increased CD44v expression and decreased CD44s expression were found in metastatic pancreatic carcinoma in three different cell lines and in human tumor tissue. Clinical analysis showed that CD44v6+ and CD44v9+ were correlated with lymph node metastasis, liver metastasis and TNM stage. However, CD44s- was associated with liver metastasis, tumor differentiation and TNM stage. Survival analysis showed that patients with CD44v6+/CD44s- or CD44v6+/CD44s- had lower overall survival (OS) rates, although the individual expression of CD44v6, CD44v9 and CD44s was also related to decreased OS rates. Univariate analysis showed that lymph node metastasis; vessel invasion; hepatic metastases; TNM stage; and individual or co-expression of CD44v6, CD44v9 and CD44s were risk factors affecting survival. Multivariate analysis showed that CD44v6+/CD44s- was an independent predictor of survival. CONCLUSIONS: We found that CD44v6+, CD44v9+ and CD44s- were associated with pancreatic carcinoma metastasis and progression and that CD44v6+/CD44s- was an independent risk factor affecting survival in pancreatic carcinoma. Therefore, the different expression patterns of CD44v/CD44s may determine pancreatic carcinoma prognosis. VIRTUAL SLIDES: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1579257224116287.
Project description:Cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of cancer cells responsible for tumor growth, and recent evidence suggests that CSCs also contribute to cancer metastasis. However, the heterogeneity of CSCs in metastasis capacities is still unclear in breast cancer. Here we show that among the CD24-/CD44+ breast CSCs, a subset expressing the variant isoform of CD44 (CD44v) displays significantly higher capacity of lung metastasis than that expressing the standard CD44 isoform CD44s. Increasing or reducing the CD44v/CD44s ratio of breast cancer cells by regulating the expression of epithelial splicing regulatory protein 1 (ESRP1) leads to promotion or suppression of lung metastasis without influencing cancer cell stemness. Directly suppressing CD44v expression significantly alleviates the metastasis burden in lungs. Mechanically, CD44v, but not CD44s, responds to osteopontin (OPN) in the lung environment to enhance cancer cell invasiveness and promote lung metastasis. In clinical samples expression of ESRP1 and CD44v, rather than CD44s or total CD44, positively correlates with distant metastasis. Overall, our data identify a subset of metastatic breast CSCs characterized by CD44v expression, and suggest that CD44v and ESRP1 might be better prognosis markers and therapeutic targets for breast cancer metastasis.
Project description:Resistance to chemoradiotherapy is one reason for the increased recurrence rate of pancreatic cancer after these therapies. These cells change the expression levels of several proteins, such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), while acquiring the chemo- or radio-resistance. In this study, we focused on CD44, a pancreatic cancer stem cell marker. CD44 has isoforms with different functions: standard isoform (CD44s) and several variant isoforms (CD44v). However, little is known about the roles of these isoforms after ionizing irradiation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of CD44 isoforms in radioresistance of pancreatic cancer cells. AsPC-1 (a human pancreatic cancer cell line) was irradiated with 4 MV X-rays. The mRNA and protein levels of CD44s were strongly upregulated, dose dependently, compared with CD44v after irradiation. Thus, we further investigated CD44s at the point of cell proliferation. We evaluated cell proliferation and survival, using CD44s knockdown cells. CD44s knockdown did not change the proliferation rate for up to 72 h after the irradiation, but decreased cell viability in the colony formation assay. As one of the reasons for these effects, we found downregulation of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk; which is involved with cell proliferation) by CD44s knockdown, time dependently. Moreover, radiation-induced EMT-like expression changes were detected and suppressed by CD44s knockdown. In conclusion, our work demonstrated that CD44 standard isoform was especially upregulated after high-dose X-ray irradiation in several isoforms of CD44 and contributed to longer-term cell survival after the irradiation through the maintenance of Erk phosphorylation and radiation-induced EMT.
Project description:CD44, a non-kinase transmembrane glycoprotein, is overexpressed in several cell types including cancer stem cells and frequently shows alternative spliced variants that are thought to play a role in cancer development and progression. Hyaluronan, the main ligand for CD44, binds to and activates CD44 resulting in activation of cell signaling pathways that induces cell proliferation, increases cell survival, modulates cytoskeletal changes, and enhances cellular motility. The different functional roles of CD44 standard (CD44s) and specific CD44 variant (CD44v) isoforms are not fully understood. CD44v contain additional peptide motifs that can interact with and sequester growth factors and cytokines at the cell surface thereby functioning as coreceptors to facilitate cell signaling. Moreover, CD44v were expressed in metastasized tumors, whereas switching between CD44v and CD44s may play a role in regulating epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and in the adaptive plasticity of cancer cells. Here, we review current data on the structural and functional properties of CD44, the known roles for CD44 in tumorigencity, the regulation of CD44 expression, and the potential for targeting CD44 for cancer therapy.
Project description:Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a tightly regulated process that is critical for embryogenesis but is abnormally activated during cancer metastasis and recurrence. Here we show that a switch in CD44 alternative splicing is required for EMT. Using both in vitro and in vivo systems, we have demonstrated a shift in CD44 expression from variant isoforms (CD44v) to the standard isoform (CD44s) during EMT. This isoform switch to CD44s was essential for cells to undergo EMT and was required for the formation of breast tumors that display EMT characteristics in mice. Mechanistically, the splicing factor epithelial splicing regulatory protein 1 (ESRP1) controlled the CD44 isoform switch and was critical for regulating the EMT phenotype. Additionally, the CD44s isoform activated Akt signaling, providing a mechanistic link to a key pathway that drives EMT. Finally, CD44s expression was upregulated in high-grade human breast tumors and was correlated with the level of the mesenchymal marker N-cadherin in these tumors. Together, our data suggest that regulation of CD44 alternative splicing causally contributes to EMT and breast cancer progression.
Project description:A number of studies report that epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) supports the generation and maintenance of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which show tumor seeding ability and drug resistance; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying induction of EMT-associated tumor malignancy remain unclear. The present study reports that oral cancer cells switch from expressing the CD44 variant form (CD44v) to expressing the standard form (CD44s) during acquisition of cisplatin-resistance, which resulted in EMT induction. CD44s induced an EMT phenotype in cisplatin resistant cells by up-regulating ZEB1, a transcriptional repressor of E-cadherin. More importantly, CD44s up-regulated ZEB1 by suppressing microRNA-200c, which is a non-coding RNA that directly represses the ZEB1 gene. These results demonstrate the importance of the association between platinum resistance and CD44s during EMT induction in oral cancer cells.
Project description:Podoplanin and CD44 are transmembrane glycoproteins involved in inflammation and cancer. In this paper, we report that podoplanin is coordinately expressed with the CD44 standard (CD44s) and variant (CD44v) isoforms in vivo-in hyperplastic skin after a pro-inflammatory stimulus with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-and in vitro-in cell lines representative of different stages of mouse-skin chemical carcinogenesis, as well as in human squamous carcinoma cell (SCC) lines. Moreover, we identify CD44v10 in the mouse-skin carcinogenesis model as the only CD44 variant isoform expressed in highly aggressive spindle carcinoma cell lines together with CD44s and podoplanin. We also characterized CD44v3-10, CD44v6-10 and CD44v8-10 as the major variant isoforms co-expressed with CD44s and podoplanin in human SCC cell lines. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy experiments show that these CD44v isoforms colocalize with podoplanin at plasma membrane protrusions and cell-cell contacts of SCC cells, as previously reported for CD44s. Furthermore, CD44v isoforms colocalize with podoplanin in chemically induced mouse-skin SCCs in vivo. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments indicate that podoplanin physically binds to CD44v3-10, CD44v6-10 and CD44v8-10 isoforms, as well as to CD44s. Podoplanin-CD44 interaction is mediated by the transmembrane and cytosolic regions and is negatively modulated by glycosylation of the extracellular domain. These results point to a functional interplay of podoplanin with both CD44v and CD44s isoforms in SCCs and give insight into the regulation of the podoplanin-CD44 association.
Project description:Cluster of differentiation (CD)44 has been implicated in cancer metastasis to bone. Clinical and experimental studies have suggested that the standard isoform of CD44 (CD44s) and the variant isoform of CD44 (CD44v) enhance metastasis. The present study examined the differential roles of CD44s and CD44v, particularly CD44v8-10, in the development of bone metastases. For this purpose, MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells and A549 human lung cancer cells were stably transduced with epithelial splicing regulatory protein 1 (ESRP1), which regulates the alternative splicing of several genes, including CD44. The introduction of ESRP1 induced a splicing switch from CD44s to CD44v, particularly to CD44v8-10, while the total amount of CD44 was rarely affected. However, ESRP1 did not significantly affect cell proliferation, migration, invasion or tumor sphere formation in vitro. Furthermore, ESRP1 did not cause significant differences in the development of bone metastases in a mouse model. As an alternative approach, cancer cells transduced with the CD44v8-10 gene were also established. The overexpression of CD44v8-10 in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, which rarely express any isoform of CD44, promoted cell migration and sphere formation, whereas the overexpression of CD44v8-10 in MDA-MB-231 cells, which endogenously express high levels of CD44s, did not exert these effects. The results of the present study collectively suggest that the ability of CD44v8-10 to promote tumor aggressiveness and bone metastases is similar to that of CD44s. CD44v8-10 and CD44s may represent potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of bone metastases.
Project description:CD44 is a multifunctional glycoprotein that binds to hyaluronan and fibrin(ogen). Alternative splicing is responsible for the generation of numerous different isoforms, the smallest of which is CD44s. Insertion of variant exons into the extracellular membrane proximal region generates the variant isoforms (CD44v). Here, we used force spectroscopy to delineate the biophysical and molecular requirements of CD44-HA and CD44-fibrin(ogen) interactions at the single-molecule level. CD44v-HA and CD44s-HA single bonds exhibit similar kinetic and micromechanical properties because the HA-binding motif on CD44 is common to all of the isoforms. Although this is the primary binding site, O- and N-linked glycans and sulfation also contribute to the tensile strength of the CD44-HA bond. The CD44s-fibrin pair has a lower unstressed dissociation rate and a higher tensile strength than CD44s-fibrinogen but is weaker than the CD44-HA bond. In contrast to CD44-HA binding, the molecular interaction between CD44 and fibrin(ogen) is predominantly mediated by the chondroitin sulfate and dermatan sulfate on CD44. Blocking sulfation on CD44s modestly decreases the tensile strength of CD44s-fibrin(ogen) binding, which is in stark contrast to CD44v-fibrin interaction. Collectively, the results obtained by force spectroscopy in conjunction with biochemical interventions enable us to delineate the biophysical parameters and molecular constituents of CD44 binding to hyaluronan and fibrin(ogen).
Project description:Although changes in alternative splicing have been observed in cancer, their functional contributions still remain largely unclear. Here we report that splice isoforms of the cancer stem cell (CSC) marker CD44 exhibit strikingly opposite functions in breast cancer. Bioinformatic annotation in patient breast cancer in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database reveals that the CD44 standard splice isoform (CD44s) positively associates with the CSC gene signatures, whereas the CD44 variant splice isoforms (CD44v) exhibit an inverse association. We show that CD44s is the predominant isoform expressed in breast CSCs. Elimination of the CD44s isoform impairs CSC traits. Conversely, manipulating the splicing regulator ESRP1 to shift alternative splicing from CD44v to CD44s leads to an induction of CSC properties. We further demonstrate that CD44s activates the PDGFR?/Stat3 cascade to promote CSC traits. These results reveal CD44 isoform specificity in CSC and non-CSC states and suggest that alternative splicing provides functional gene versatility that is essential for distinct cancer cell states and thus cancer phenotypes.